Rajya Sabha saw repeated disruptions over the issue of President’s rule in Uttarakhand. The Leader of the House stated that President’s rule was imposed as a result of breakdown of constitutional machinery. He said that Rajya Sabha would later take up discussion on the issue once the proclamation of emergency is placed in the House.

Lok Sabha took up discussion on the Demands for Grants of Railways, 2016-17.  Some key highlights are:

·         Total revenue for 2016-17 is estimated at Rs 1,89,271 crore which is a 10% increase from the revised estimates of 2015-16. Total revenue in 2015-16, undershot budget estimates by Rs 16,752 crore (9%).

·         Total revenue from traffic for 2016-17 is estimated at Rs 1,84,820 crore, which is a 10% increase from the revised estimates of 2015- 16. Revenue from freight and passenger is expected to grow by 5% and 12% respectively.

·         Total expenditure for 2016-17 is projected at Rs 1,71,060 crore which is a 13% increase from the revised estimates of 2015-16.

·         Operating Ratio for 2016-17 is projected to increase to 92%. In 2015-16, the Operating Ratio increased from a budgeted estimate of 88.5% to 90.5%.

Operating Ratio is the ratio of the working expenditure (expenses arising from day-to-day operations of Railways) to the revenue earned from traffic. Therefore, a higher ratio indicates a poorer ability to generate surplus that can be used for capital investments such as laying new lines, deploying more coaches, etc.

Our detailed note giving an overview of railway finances can be found here.

The Standing Committee examining the Consumer Protection Bill presented its report today.  Among other things, the Committee recommended that in order to claim product liability, the Bill should specify conditions for establishing deficiency in services in addition to conditions for establishing defect in products.   

Under the Bill, in order to claim product liability, a claimant must establish four kinds of defects in the product, the injury caused from it, and that it belonged to the manufacturer. The claimant must also establish that the manufacturer had knowledge of such a defect. It may be argued that the conditions to establish a product liability claim are unreasonable. The Committee, therefore, recommended that the provision relating to product liability in the Bill may be suitably redrafted.

Our legislative brief provides a detailed analysis on the Bill, and can be found here. The analytical note points out issues to consider, along with key features.

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